Year End Garden Projects


Although we've accomplished a lot since buying our little house, the garden is far from perfect. In fact, it's a real mess. We've got an apparently infinite supply of invasive onion and arum plants, which I dig up by the trug-full, but never seem to reduce in number.

This is supposed to be a vegetable garden, but despite the fact that I've dug through this soil on numerous occasions, the soil keeps producing more bulbs. Plant-wise, there are two chard plants in this bed, a couple of miserably unhappy native penstemons, and the rest is weedy bulbs.

In addition to having weed-filled soil, we're surrounded by horrible fencing. What you're seeing in this photograph is Robb's cover-up of a falling-down garage. If I said that the walls of the garage were made of soggy graham crackers, I wouldn't be too far from the truth. The crumbly-looking grey stuff is apparently some kind of decades-old interior-grade particle-board. The white stuff behind that is sheetrock, which is also not a building material meant to be exposed to weather. The garage could probably be ripped apart with a butterknife. It is also riddled with rat-holes. Lovely.

Robb is covering all this mess up with some of the 80 year old old-growth redwood siding boards that we bought off of craigslist. We bought more than we needed for our house-siding project, and Robb has been stockpiling the less-than-perfect boards, with this project in mind.

We have decided to get chickens in the spring, and this is the spot in which we plan to locate their home. For the chickens' safety, we can't have a permeable coop. So, Robb has been shoring up the wall, to keep chickens in and varmints out.

Oh, that's so much better! I genuinely like the color variation of the old redwood planks.

We had beautiful weather over the last few days, so we spent a good part of our holiday working on garden projects.

I dug up and sifted through several of our vegetable beds. I added a huge amount of compost into the soil, and relocated some unhappily-situated plants. Our compost was dreamy, assuming you like that sort of thing. Our heavy silty soil needs all the fluffing-up that it can get. It's lovely in the damp winters, but come summertime, it turns rock-hard.

The photo above shows much-improved garden beds, with Robb in the background.

Smog was very involved, leaping in and out of the trenches that I created. (I know it looks like he's doing something else, but trust me: he's mid-pounce.)

I moved a clump of Douglas Iris, which I had bought early in our time here, and put in a bad location. The plants never really prospered.

Having this garden has been a learning experience. Some things I did were huge successes, others were Dumb Ideas. I'm so delighted to have had the time and cooperative weather to allow me to make improvements in our little garden. I don't know that most people would be able to see the difference, but I figure that we'll keep chipping away at our projects and eventually all that work will pay off.


Anonymous said…
looks great!!
good work - and in December, too!
Celia Hart said…
"Having this garden has been a learning experience. Some things I did were huge successes, others were Dumb Ideas"
That's a perfect summing up of what gardening's all about!

Good luck with the hens in the New Year. If there are rats in the building next door they will gnaw through to get at the hen food... believe me they will! I recommend reinforcing the bottom of those boards with something gnaw-proof - like metal. And sinking it down into the ground if possible.

Dewi said…
Sounds like a wonderful project! Lovely kitty enjoying the garden too :)
Yay chickens! I can't wait! :) I think your fence is looking good, and honestly, it will probably last longer than any modern-day redwood fencing you could buy. This weather has been spoiling us too. I keep forgetting, as I'm planning more things to do outside, that the rainy season hasn't really happened yet...thank goodness...too much to do! Are you building a coop? Or buying one?
Of course we're building our own coop! Robb's been busy laying paving stones, as a sort of anti varmint perimeter and coop foundation.
terri said…
LOVE the fence, and I am envious of your persimmons.

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